The Curmudgeon


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thought for the Dave

Daveybloke's Big Society thingy is, you know, a bit like God. It can solve all our problems, inspire our neighbours to aid us, and enable the poor and needy to forget their gross materialistic urges; but nobody - not even those who dreamed it up in the first place - quite knows just what it is. Accordingly, Daveybloke's Minister for University Fees has clarified (or, in Standard English, abolished) the convention whereby academics get to decide how their funding should be prioritised, and has ordered the Arts and Humanities Research Council to apply itself forthwith to the theology of Conservative Party sloganeering. Among the Council's tasks will be the setting in stone of politically correct definitions for various words, such as fairness, engagement, responsibility, mutuality, individualism and selfishness, which Daveybloke and his chums have been throwing about recently and with which politicians on both sides of the nasty/stupid divide have been encountering understandable difficulties.

A spokesbeing for the Department of Bonus Elevation Skills claimed that the Council had itself proposed Daveybloke's Big Society thingy as a worthy subject of research, and that "prioritisation of an individual research council's spending within its allocation is not a decision for ministers". The Council more or less confirmed this, saying that some minions of David Willetts, who is "regarded as one of the intellectual forces behind" Daveybloke's Big Society thingy, presented it with a free and informed choice between losing its funding and doing as it was told. We can only hope the Council will apply itself to the matter with all due diligence, not least because of the intense public concern which is likely to result from the revelation that the Conservatives not only required "intellectual forces" to fumble their way towards conceiving of Daveybloke's Big Society thingy, but that they required more than one.


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